Laughter is the Best Medicine: Use as Directed

PERSCRIPTFirst off, I’d like to give a shout-out to my local fan club the “Golden Grams!” I just discovered I have a following of spunky senior ladies who meet together once a month to adore me.

Okay, so they meet together to adore many people and topics so they can socialize and learn together, but they do like my work and invited me to speak at their monthly meeting, which I was delighted to do.

When I asked what to speak about they said I could do whatever I wanted. Wow, are they overly trusting or what?

I had just decided to show them the latest lip synch battle song I’ve perfected to do on the Jimmy Fallon show when I get invited, when my mom called to tell me she was coming to watch my presentation.

Sigh.

I toned it down and classed it up, but the Grams did make one request, “Just be funny.” Luckily, that’s my favorite thing to be—and I can do it without playing air guitar.

Actually, the subject I speak on most often is “finding the funny” in life because that’s what I like to do, and it seems to be a difficult thing to do for more people than I realize. After my presentations, there are always people who come up and say, “I really needed to hear that. I should lighten up and laugh more.”

Life is hard and there are many dark things in the world so it’s easy to fixate on gloom and doom, but there’s plenty to laugh about and anyone can learn how to do it. In fact, I can teach you how to do it in five easy steps!

(I should do infomercials or Ted Talks, right?)

STEP #1: Laugh at and about yourself. We all have our quirks and idiosyncrasies so just own them, laugh about them, and exploit them for money if someone will pay you to do so.

STEP #2 : Have a sense of humor about what others say and do to you. People are thoughtless sometimes and say/do things they shouldn’t. Whether it’s intentional or not, the only control you have in such situations is your reaction. So when a well-meaning relative says, “You look so pretty today, I hardly recognized you!” just laugh it off—like I did. (I’m over it, really.)

STEP #3: Have funny people in your life, especially if you’re not funny. Not everyone has natural humor, and that’s okay. Every ham needs an audience, so just kick back and enjoy the show.

The last two steps are guidelines for humor use because, while humor can be therapeutic, it can also be detrimental when misused.

STEP #4: Be cautious with humor about others. Some people may not have taken my humor crash course yet or aren’t quite ready to un-stuff their shirts, so go easy.

STEP #5: Be appropriate with humor. I think Downton Abby’s stoic and sassy matriarch, Violet Crawley, said it best, “Vulgarity is no substitute for wit.”

There you go, you’re on your way to being a recovering pessimaholic!

Btw, I’m not ashamed to do a rockin’ lip synch in front of my mother. She’ll discover that at her upcoming retirement party.

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